Midwestern State Regents to Discuss $18M Stadium

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Times Record News (Wichita Falls, Texas)


You might want to get ready for some football and, possibly, a new football stadium.

At its two-day board of regents meeting May 11-12, the board will discuss its capital expenditure plan for 2018 to 2022, which includes $18 million for an on-campus football stadium, to be paid for - if the plan comes to fruition - via private funds.

Julie Gaynor, MSU's director of marketing and public relations, said the university is "in the exploratory phase of a football stadium project. Preliminarily, we are studying the possibility of a 7,000- to 8,000-seat stadium." The cost is based on "donor generosity."

The MSU Mustangs have long called the Wichita Falls ISD's Memorial Stadium home and has paid the district for use of the public school district's stadium.

MSU President Suzanne Shipley has said at previous regents meetings that as state funding continually decreases, colleges must find ways to make up that financial difference. Athletics is how some universities, particularly larger schools such as the University of Texas and Texas A&M, are looking to meet the bottom line.

At an April board training of the Wichita Falls ISD, the district expressed that it has been approached before about the joint use of a new facility, though Wichita Falls ISD Athletic Director Scot Hafley said, "They've talked to me about that many times. The answer has always been no."

Superintendent Michael Kuhrt expressed that the district would need a structure much larger than a 7,000-seat stadium. It would need to seat at least 15,000 plus offer at least that much parking.

The plan for an on-campus football stadium is just one of the items included on the university's five-year capital expenditure plan that will span from 2018 to 2022. The facility is No. 5 on the list of 10 capital project priorities.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating board has requested an update from MSU of its plan for construction, land acquisition, information resource projects, and major repair and renovation projects each year. The report will include projects that may be considered within the next five years, regardless of funding source. Included in the report are new construction projects of $1 million or more, repair and renovation projects of $1 million or more, information resource projects that cumulatively would total $1 million or more in one year, and property purchases that cumulatively would total $1 million or more in one year.

Besides the football stadium, also listed on MSU's capital projects plan are $113.2 million of other projects. Listed by priority, they include:

Bolin Science Hall renovations and infrastructure improvements with a project cost of $20 million to come from tuition revenue bonds.

A new Facilities Services building for $5 million. The sources of funds are student fees and the Higher Education Assistance Fund.

Daniel Building Student Services/Student Life renovations, which has a projected cost of $7 million to come from student fees and food services revenue.

Parking facilities. The project cost is $12 million. The source of funds will be parking fees and HEAF.

South Hardin Building renovations and welcome center, which is anticipated to cost $3 million and will be funded by private funds and HEAF.

Hardin Building infrastructure renovation, $10 million, from HEAF.

West Campus Annex facilities renovation, $1.2 million from private funds and HEAF

New student residence hall for $35 million, to be funded by housing student rental income.

Acquisition of property, $2 million, from private funds.

According to the board agenda for the May 11-12 meeting, the regents also will discuss:

Its strategic plan, which will be presented to the board for approval in August. In 2015-16, the university worked to develop a vision for MSU for the next century. Four strategic initiatives emerged from various surveys, town hall meetings, constituent meetings and a board retreat.

Hiring a construction manager-at-risk for repairs to Bolin Science Hall, the Fain Fine Arts Center, Hardin Administration Building and Ferguson Science Hall. The work is for Texas Accessibility Standards, Americans with Disabilities Act and fire marshal upgrades.

Changes to utility contracts

Staff employee holiday schedules

Changes to the core curriculum. State universities beginning in the fall of 2014 were required by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to implement a new 42-hour curriculum.

Increasing housing and dining services rates

An update on the university's comprehensive campaign, which is a major, multiyear fundraising effort.

An increase in the motor vehicle registration fee.

Changes in tuition and fees

Follow Times Record News senior editor/reporter Lana Sweeten-Shults on Twitter @LanaSweetenShul.

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May 9, 2017


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